Editor’s note: NESN.com will profile intriguing prospects in the days leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. Next up: Western Michigan offensive tackle Willie Beavers.
Willie Beavers, Western Michigan, offensive tackle
6-foot-5, 321 pounds
Projected round: Fifth
Testing numbers: 5.28-second 40-yard dash, 1.81-second 10-yard split, 25.5-inch vertical jump, 8-foot, 7-inch broad jump, 4.67-second short shuttle, 7.96-second 3-cone drill, 20 bench reps at 225 pounds
Strengths: Beavers has solid size and athleticism for a starting NFL offensive tackle. He started at left tackle for the Broncos since his freshman season. NFL.com says Beavers is a “loose, fluid athlete for the position with very good foot quickness and agility.” He was ranked as a top five offensive tackle by NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock in February, but he has since been moved out of that slot. He didn’t allow a single pressure during the Senior Bowl game, according to Pro Football Focus.
Weaknesses: Beavers had the worst score among draft-eligible tackles in Pro Football Focus’s pass blocking efficiency metric. He allowed five sacks, nine QB hits, 25 hurries and 39 total pressures in 430 pass block snaps. He also struggled in one-on-one and team drills during Senior Bowl practices, according to Pro Football Focus.
Patriots fit: Beavers will be a work in progress in the NFL. He could sit for a year behind Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer before potentially taking over a starting role in 2017. Athletically, Beavers meets the Patriots’ standards with his 10-yard split, 40-yard dash, broad jump and short shuttle.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
Nov 27, 2015; Toledo, OH, USA; Western Michigan Broncos offensive lineman Willie Beavers (70) celebrates with safety Rontavious Atkins (1) after the game against the Toledo Rockets at Glass Bowl. Broncos win 35-30. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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